Heading into the New Year, let’s look at your 2019 Content Strategy and Calendar. Because, nothing can feel worse than scrambling at the last minute to come up with a social media post idea. The ones where you are not feeling inspired, right? But then you quickly write something just to get it up there or share some random image. And, what’s even worse is to discover, after you hit the post button, that your post makes little sense or offers little value to your audience.
The thing is however, is that sometimes last minute can be a good thing. Maybe it’s an adrenaline rush, or maybe it’s the pressure, the emotional reaction to something. Sometimes it can be the greatest post you’ve ever put out there.
But more often, it’s not.
You see, when we do something in ‘last-minute-mode‘ we end up rushing or not really thinking things through. Perhaps it ends up with a ton of typos, or even find that our purpose or intention falls short because it’s reflecting the last minute scramble of the post. And, it makes no sense in the greater scheme of things.
That is why we believe there’s a much better way to planning your content. A way that takes into account your strategy and your goals for the long-term game. That better way forward has to do with planning your content over a longer period of time — even an entire year.
Have we Lost our Minds?!
And so before you think we’re going a little crazy talking about planning out posts for an entire year, we promise that it’s easier than you might realize.
Additionally, planning out your content in advance can actually help even those last-minute additions by giving you an existing content strategy to work with. You will actually have more room for those value driven, curiosity peaking, business focused. When, you are starting with a plan.
There are 3 easy to follow steps to get you away from being a last-minute-throw-it-all-together-last-minute-professional ..
… and towards being a more prepared, polished and intentional content creator. Make your 2019 Content Strategy and Calendar one that sets the bar for others in your niche. Be the ‘example’ people are looking to when it comes to solid content creation.
Step One: Think Strategy First, Creativity Second.
The very thing you need to do is audit your current social media status. Make notes of a few of the areas you struggled with in the previous year. Maybe your content didn’t offer your audience enough in certain areas, or you were too sales focused or otherwise.
Once you’ve identified your weaker points, now it’s time to move towards your goals.
What do you want to accomplish this month?
2019 (and beyond)?
Do you want to attract more customers? Would you like to share more about your story? Whatever your goals are, you can always structure your content to help you achieve them.
This is our favorite task – the creative part. And, it just entails thinking about social media post ideas and then writing down anything and everything in your head. A suggestion made to use before was to voice record our ideas – that way we didn’t struggle getting them out onto paper.
This activity gets you thinking creatively and thinking a little more outside of your comfort zone. So block off 20 -40 minutes to get out all of the ideas that come to mind. For example, if you post about clean living, start thinking of all the strategies you’ve used in your home, with your family, your body, etc. The old school brainstorm sheets can work well here too!
Step Two: Time to get Organized.
Take a moment to peek back at your brain dump activity. Cross off any ideas that just won’t work with the main topics you generally cover. Then, look at your current goals, and cross off any of your ideas that aren’t going to help you crush them.
Main Topic categories may include;
- Personal Story
- Product Posts
- Business Posts
- Lessons or Teachable moments
You should still have a large, but more refined list.
Start taking the remaining ideas and placing them in your categories. Once your ideas have found their home within categories, you can take notes of goals for each post or even specific calls to action. This is a great exercise to get you thinking about which posts might make great new curiosity posts and ones you are more explicit with your business.
Remember, your social media profiles should have a good balance of personal vs. business. Without question, make sure your 2019 Content strategy and calendar reflect this!
From here, you want to start building out your calendar. It is generally recommended you post twice per day, right? So that’s roughly 14 times per week.
If you are focused on planning out your year this would be about 728 posts. OK, catch your breath! At least half of these posts will be images; family photos, something you bought, selfies, a memory, etc. So before you freak out … (and jump through the screen!) rest assured that the number sounds much larger than it is.
Quick Tip: Set up a Pinterest board when you can store all of your images. This is a great way to have images ready to go whenever you need them. Then, all you have to do is add caption or sort narrative when you post it!
Step Three: Start Writing!
Now that you have a content strategy and calendar mapped out it’s time to get the words flowing. We try to stay about 7-10 posts ahead of the desired posting date. This is a great way to have a chunk of content ready to go in case the inspiration doesn’t strike you at the time.
Remember, this may includes images, or current event posts, etc. Stick to your primary content categories and you will be in great shape!
A good way to stay ahead of the game when it comes to content creation is to chunk yourself time each week to knock out those 7-10 posts. Break those chunks up if you need to – or consider outsourcing some content even (depending of course on your current circumstances).
Final Thoughts on Creating your 2019 Content Strategy and Calendar
You and your business deserve this. And you will thank yourself over and over throughout the year if you took the time to create a solid plan. As entrepreneurs, we’re in this for the long haul, right? So don’t short change the areas that are often the most lucrative.
Although we have built our business(es) in a hybrid space of both offline and online, having a calendar and strategy apply across the board. Think about it, you would never show up to a meeting or presentation and wing it (well, you shouldn’t anyway!).
In the comments, let us know what sorts of topics you will have on your content calendar for 2019. And, we would love your feedback on how you found these steps to be when creating your content strategy as well!